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San Francisco hotels and misc

sfwilshire

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Any suggestion for my daughter and SIL on reasonably priced, safe hotels in San Francisco. She is finding the prices more than they can afford for a few days in late February. Based on my extremely (and very outdated) experience, I told her they could probably stay in the airport area and drive into town for less, even though parking will be expensive. They plan to have a rental car the entire time anyway, though I advised them to wait until they were leaving the city to get one. So they'll be paying to park at most of the hotels.

I think after talking today, they may just stay a couple of nights in SF and a couple of nights to the south. Maybe Monterey, Carmel or somewhere down that way. Their final destination is back up to Napa Valley.

DSIL is a chef, so fine dining is part of the plan, but they are on an extremely limited budget. He won free airline tickets in a contest or they would have never been able to go. Ages 26 and 31.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Sheila
 

fillde

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Coventry Motor Inn

Located on Lombard St. Whenever we had a car we stayed here. No fee for parking. Room rates are very reasonable and the rooms are clean.
 

Superchief

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I suggest a hotel in a location outside of SF, but near a BART station, such as near the SF airport or in Walnut Creek or other East Bay location. BART is a convenient way to get in and out of the city and I think it has service until midnight. Hotels in these areas will be much less expensive than in the city.

I would recommend a Residence Inn, Homewood, Suites, Springhill Suites, or similar hotels that include breakfast and larger rooms, and usually provide free parking and internet.
 

bailey

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I would try Priceline. I have used them many times to stay in the city. Try checking on biddingfortravel.com first to get any idea of how to bid and what price offers have been successful. I've gotten hotels in the Union Square area several times for about $50.00. Of course it will depend on what happens to be going on in the city those particular dates (conventions, holidays, etc)
 

sfwilshire

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I would try Priceline. I have used them many times to stay in the city. Try checking on biddingfortravel.com first to get any idea of how to bid and what price offers have been successful. I've gotten hotels in the Union Square area several times for about $50.00. Of course it will depend on what happens to be going on in the city those particular dates (conventions, holidays, etc)

I also suggested Priceline, but she's nervous about good areas that are too close to "bad" areas. She has read too much about crime on the Internet, though I tried to explain that this is a fact of life in most cities these days.

Sheila
 

Luanne

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If she is careful which areas she selects using Priceline, she should be okay. I generally bid using Union Square East, Union Square West and the Embarcadero. I recently got the Hilton Union Square (actually about a block off Union Square) for $95/night for a Saturday this month.

If they want to pay "less" they probably will end up in a not so great part of town.
 

winnipiseogee

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We lived in SF for most of our 20s and early 30s and go back ever year. Its a spectacular place and I'm sure they will have a wonderful time.

I would highly suggest that they stay in the east bay near a BART station. Specifically near either Shattuck Ave (referred to as the "Gourmet Ghetto") or Rockridge (which is technically Oakland). UC Berkeley is right there so lots of hotels catering to college kids. Both are VERY safe, about 10 minutes away from each other, have GREAT food options are an easy shot into the city via public transport (I don't recommend driving into the city if they can avoid it - parking is $45+ a day in most places). Also, because of traffic its easier to get from the east bay into either Carmel or the wine country. Also plenty of free parking so long as you look for it.

Don't stay anywhere near the airport. There is nothing there and its not particularly safe.

If they happen to stay in that are tell them that Chez Panisse (one of the most famous restaurants in the world) has an upstairs bar area that has a phenomenal menu and is very reasonable pricewise. Also, tell them to check out a place called cheese board pizza. They do one type of gourmet pizza for lunch everyday and there is a line around the block. Its famous and unbelievably good.

Along College Ave (which is between rockridge and the gourmet ghetto) there are tons of very good bistro's which have high quality food that is budget friendly for all the college kids in the area.

In San Fran I would HIGHLY suggest the farmers market in the Ferry building in downtown SF. Aside for the farmers foods they have some pretty spectacular little sandwichy type places in the building that are open every day. Its relatively inexpensive but the food is very high calibur. Specifically they have a little mexican place there that does a spectacular brunch which is all local, fresh & organic.

Not sure how booked their trip already is but I might suggest Sonoma over Napa. Napa is beautiful but its pricey. Sonoma is equally pretty but is a little easier on the wallet. Also, Sonoma is on the coast and is almost as beautiful as the Carmel area. If they do happen to go to sonoma make sure they check out the sonoma town square area. Its got some very high end but relatively inexpensive places for lunch and dinner. Healdsburg (which is northern Sonoma) is also very nice and has great food.

Just my 2 cents. Where ever they go they will have a great time. You can't go wrong in the city by the bay!!!
 
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DeniseM

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We regularly get 4 Star hotels in SF on Priceline for around $100 a night - sometimes much less.

For all the details, look at the SF forum at www.biddingfortravel.com
 

jlp879

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We use Priceline a lot when we aren't using timeshares, and in a city like San Francisco one can find amazing bargains. We've had 4 star hotels for $40 per night and by using the site Denise mentioned, you can see what other people have paid when they have used Priceline's "name your own price option". You choose the neighbourhood and if she chooses Union Square East or West, SOMA, Financial District or the Marina, they'll be in fun, lively neighbourhoods with good eats and lots to do right on their doorstep. I would say $80 on Priceline will get you most any hotel you'd be extremely happy with.

For their ages, I wouldn't recommend staying out of the city. It's such a vibrant city and is best explored on foot. They'd be better off with a rental car for only the days they are in Carmel or Napa, because city parking is expensive and they wouldn't need it anyway.

For good cheap places to eat, have them check Yelp for the foods they like to eat. Generally, ethnic is going to be less expensive and their are lots of good neighbourhoods for that.
 

winnipiseogee

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Wife tells me I need to emphasize jlp879 just said. Save on the car rental and parking but get a hotel in San Fran. There is nothing quite like san fran and if they haven't been before they need to stay right in the city!!
 

fillde

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You are getting many recommendations for Priceline. Just keep in mind if you rent a car you may add on $35.00 a night for parking.
 

sfwilshire

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Thanks for all the great tips. I wish I could go along. It's been well over a decade since I've been out there.

Sheila
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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My recommendation is to stay inside the city itself. It just isn't the same at all to be in the East Bay and Bart in. Leave the car somewhere, maybe airport economy parking and take Bart into San Francisco. I second the areas recommended for a Priceline search - Union Square East and West and Embarcadero. San Francisco is a pretty safe city, just lots of homeless people, but I've never felt unsafe. We don't wander around too much at night unless it's to catch public transportation from the theater district.
Liz
 

funtime

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Yoy can use hotwire four or five star and that will usually put you into a boutique hotel near Market Street or Union Square for 90 to 120 bucks.
 

sfwilshire

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Thanks for all the input. :cheer:

They have finished the San Francisco part of their trip. Called me from stalled traffic on Highway 1 Friday afternoon. Headed south. May be headed for Sonoma today.

Helping her with the planning makes me realize how ready I am to go back to the area. I love it there.

Sheila
 
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